Monday, October 15, 2018

The Big Goose Egg

The Big Goose Egg...the blow out...the zip - nada - no cigar for you game.

Delete the depth chart.  Drive over it with your car.  Burn it - flush it.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers having been defeated at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in back to back match ups over Labour Day put together a game plan and executed it to their full potential.  Good on them.  Kudos.  The Roughriders on the other hand?  Well, I think my team went into IGF a little full of themselves and over confident that since we did beat them twice that this rematch was going to be a piece of cake.  One only needs to reflect on the passed two very close wins to realize it was only a matter of time until this team and fan base plummeted back to earth with a deaf defying thud.

All season long the Roughriders defence and special teams have produced wins.  We all watched wondering what would happen if they had a bad game or what would happen if our offence put a game together for once.  Then injuries started to happen.  Holley, Roosevelt, Williams-Lambert and then the latest injury to Dan Clark all made us question if we could keep up to our counterparts in the West.  More goes into it than just some injured players, after all teams like the Calgary Stampeders who barely have a receiving corps left manage to keep winning...well, except for last week.  In no way is this paragraph an excuse but it is one of the question marks.  If these players are ready to return they certainly help out the confidence level of our quarterback.

Our quarterback.  Historically, when you look at Roughriders quarterbacks they've been notorious for having up/down games.  Lancaster who we've put on pedestals in Rider Nation would stink up Taylor Field when he was off.  Darian Durant would have terribly off games.  I'm not comparing them to Collaros but when this is what our quarterbacking has been like previously why do we insist on expecting someone to light it up?  Maybe we are just a wishful hopeful bunch and a bit jealous - why can't we have that?  None of that is on Collaros.  Neither are the drops by receivers.  When a ball hits you in the numbers you need to catch it.  Collaros can only throw the ball - he can't catch it too!  

Don't forget the back up aka the most popular player in Rider Nation.  Or is he?  Last year Brandon Bridge looked very promising and we all expected that he'd take the next step this year.  What happened?  This year he can't seem to make a read and is too quick to give up and scramble.  According to ex players I've listened to this makes the O Lineman panic and scramble too because they don't know where to protect anymore.  I'll take their word for it.  

This leads me to trust.  I know I keep harping on our O Line.  Remarkably, they do a good job and haven't allowed many sacks this season.  However, when you look at the time our QB has in the pocket...1 Mississippi 2 Mississippi etc there isn't a lot of time to go through your reads and make a decision.  Teams like the Blue Bombers and Eskimos have great offensive lines and it shows in the production of their quarterbacks.  When you can stand back there, go through your reads, file your nails, order pizza and then decide who to throw're going to be far more successful.  Instead, you have to decide or run for your life.  Someone like Collaros should be able to get the ball out quicker but someone like Bridge is doomed.

So who is responsible for this?  I don't know how many times I've yelled "move the pocket" this season.  It's happened a couple times or there's been a play action call and it's worked.  Why don't we run these plays more often?  It sets defenses off and allows more time to make throws.  Instead we've been treated to screens and outs and our receivers are never near the yard markers so they almost always go 2 and out.  Stephen McAdoo is the guy in charge.  He's the Offensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach.  I don't understand why last year we saw more variety in our play call and this year we have less.  Was it the experience of Kevin Glenn?  Is it some sort of Grey Cup game plan where you don't show your cards unless you have to?  Mr McAdoo, please help us out here!  Design something to help us succeed!  We know you can do it!

There's also been some criticism that Roughriders Head Coach Chris Jones is preoccupied with his defence and puts his trust in Stephen McAdoo.  Of course he should!  Chris Jones should be applauded for building the defence that he has.  It's so fun to watch!  Wouldn't be fun to watch the offence score too?!  I personally don't think he's ignoring it or oblivious to the fact our offence hasn't produced this year.  I think that he's believed in them.  Just like we keep believing in the team, Jones believes this offence can do it and on a good day they can but on a bad day like Saturday we couldn't.  I know that Jones is likely busy evaluating the team and watching the film to digest exactly what happened and what this team needs to do.

For us fans?  It's time to shake it off.  Move on.  It's a new week and a new opponent.  The Saskatchewan Roughriders visit Calgary to take on the Stampeders in week 19 of the CFL.  It sure would be nice to get this win.

Don't forget to check out my "Power Grouping" for Week 18 and join in the conversation on ABC Rider Fans on Facebook.

As always, Go Riders!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Ten Thought Tuesday

It's been a long time since I've done a blog like this and a bit of time since I've blogged period.  What can I say? Life gets busy.

1.  Did you hear that the Riders are bidding on the 2020 Grey Cup?!  I am thrilled!  Why wouldn't we want to bring the Grey Cup to the best facility in the league?  I can't think of one reason not to.  Sure, that means it would have been in western stadiums 3 years in a row but I don't have a problem with that at all.  If you look historically, the Grey Cup never came West in the first several years of the leagues inception.  We all know that Regina and the province of Saskatchewan throws a heck of a party.  A word from my witty husband - we better pray for global warming.  LOL 

2.  What is the deal with TSN and particularly Rod Black's love affair with Johnny Manziel?  TSN should be embarrassed for not only the telecast but the follow up highlight package.  Guess what?  The Alouettes lost!  The team that won was barely mentioned.  Don't go blaming Rider fans for the outrage either.  CFL fans from far and wide are sick of the bias.  If you say his name is good hype for the league, I'd say competitive games and successful teams garner more interest south of the border.  I do recall the Riders name being hyped and mentioned during NFL broadcasts...

3.  Stupid questions.  If you are going to do a sideline report with a player during a game or intermission then you better be asking him good questions.  Asking Tre Mason in one of his best performances of the season about his college alliances is disrespecting to the CFL game.  I loved his answer - all he cared about was the Roughriders and the Alouettes game.

4.  The Edmonton Eskimos fired their special teams coordinator.  Why?  Was he to blame for their recent losing skid?  That poor man was nothing more than a scapegoat.  There needed to be "consequences" and that fella was the one to pay the price.  Perhaps the Eskimos need to look at their offensive and defensive schemes before throwing someone else under the bus.  But don't do it this week...please wait until after Week 17 to do that.

5.  Monday is Thanksgiving and the Eskimos take on the Roughriders at beautiful Mosaic Stadium.  The temperature is forecasted to be zero.  Most of us are wondering what happened to autumn.  If you are heading to the game you might want to pull out your winter woollies and hot pockets.

6.  Another head coach who should be under the microscope is Blue Bombers Mike O'Shea.  He's been in the organization for 6 years now and only got 1 play off game.  They might be lucky enough to be the crossover team but as we know, no western team has ever made it to the Grey Cup through the east. 1990.

7.  The Riders have a bye in the last week of the season.  For this reason I've decided they are far better off to finish 2nd in the West.  There's no way we'd want our team to sit 2 weeks and then play in a play off game.  That being said, is it possible for the Riders to win out?  Is it possible for the Stamps to win out?  The ending of this season is pretty exciting.

8.  I am looking forward to New Era taking over the CFL merchandise.  I hope their have comfortable clothing made for real CFL fans and affordably priced.  I was in the Rider Store last weekend and spied a really great bunnyhug.  A quick look at the price tag? $70.  Why bother when a jersey is only $40 more?  

9.  Speaking of clothing, as long as I keep wearing my Rider shirt purchased at Giant Tiger the Riders keep winning.  I'm superstitious although my husband keeps informing me that my clothing/fashion choices have no impact on how the Riders play.  If that's the case, then why does Chris Jones stick with the green Diversity is Strength shirt?  Maybe, just maybe, there's something to it.

10.  We pvr a lot of sporting events just so we can fast forward through the commercials.  It usually puts me in a tough position because I also love to follow and post on ABC Rider Fans game threads.  If I don't watch it live how can I join in with the rest of the community?!  This reminds me of my favourite quote from the TV show Instinct - "If I don't watch it live I have no control over it."

Happy Turkey Day Rider Fans!